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Weddings At Grace Episcopal Church

What are the costs involved?

Contact Grace Church Office for more information

Is there any counseling required?

Yes. The Episcopal Church requires its ministers to ascertain that a couple may legally be married; that the couple understand “that Holy Matrimony is a physical and spiritual union, entered into within the community of faith, by mutual consent of heart, mind, and will, and with intent that it be lifelong”; that both individuals freely consent to the marriage; that at least one of the two have received Holy Baptism; and that the couple to be married have been instructed as to the nature and purpose of Holy Matrimony.Too often, couples approach pre-marital counseling with great trepidation and “fear of the unknown.” Please don’t! The sessions are intended to be helpful, not a hindrance. Marriage holds the promise of great joy but there are many obstacles to having a successful lifelong relationship. Normally, you should plan on five sessions, with each session lasting about an hour During these sessions, expect to discuss how you met and fell in love; family and friends; the nature of your relationship; your hopes and expectations; how you use your time together and apart; your future together, including children; finances and employment; and your wedding plans.

Can the Episcopal priest from my childhood or the church I attend assist at the wedding Grace Church?

Yes, with Grace's clergy’s permission. If your priest is from another diocese, he or she must have the permission of the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Kansas.

I’m not Episcopalian. Can a minister from my denomination take part in the service? 

Yes, with the Rector’s permission. Certain parts of the service must be done by Episcopal clergy but other parts may be shared.

As much as we like you guys, we would like to have our own priest do the service by herself/himself. Is that possible?

We’re afraid not. With Grace's priest’s permission, your rector is welcome and we expect to work with him or her on parts of the service for which he or she may be responsible. However, Grace Church clergy will officiate and perform the wedding.

May non-members of Grace Church be married here?

Of course! The Episcopal Church welcomes you!

 May we write our own service, write our own vows, or include readings other than Scripture in our service?

With our apologies, no. All weddings conducted at Grace Church will follow the marriage service found in the Book of Common Prayer.

I’ve been divorced. Can I re-marry in the Episcopal Church?

Yes, although there are a few more requirements. According to the requirements of the Episcopal Church, the permission of the Bishop of the Diocese of Western Kansas is required before the wedding may take place. After the pre-marital counseling sessions conclude, 30 days are required between the time permission is sought from the Bishop’s office and the time when judgment is rendered by his office.

How many guests can the church accommodate?

The pews seat 150 comfortably, and 165 snugly.

Oh my. We’re planning on having a lot more people than that. Can we have our service elsewhere? (Or) Can we have an Episcopal wedding at a place other than the church?

Certainly, but talk with the priest first. No skydiving or underwater ceremonies, please!

What about a marriage license?

A valid marriage license must be obtained and delivered to the church at any time before the wedding ceremony takes place
Please note: Without a valid marriage license in hand, an Episcopal priest cannot officiate at your wedding.

How soon can we send out wedding invitations? 

As soon as the priest has given consent for the marriage to take place. At any point during the pre-marital instruction,he/she may in good conscience conclude that he/she cannot be a part of this wedding, so please wait until the green light is given. We are aware of the time pressures that you are under and will not be unreasonable about giving you plenty of time. If either of you are previously divorced, the Bishop’s consent must be obtained before invitations are sent out.

How long does the wedding ceremony last?

That depends on several factors. A very simple wedding will last about 20 minutes. A wedding with Holy Communion, lots of music, etc. may be an hour or so long.

Is Holy Communion always a part of the service?   

No. Although highly desirable, the clergy will help you in your decision-making. In the Episcopal Church, all baptized persons are welcome to receive Communion.

Can we have printed service bulletins?

Yes. But you should plan well ahead on this. Attractive wedding bulletins can be ordered through the church office after you consult with the parish administrator. You will, however, be responsible for the cost, which is small. Order early!  The church staff will handle printing the bulletins, or you can have them done by a printer once the clergy has approved the text.

Should I hire a wedding consultant?

That’s up to you, but please keep in mind that that person will have very little to do with the wedding service, which will be planned by you and the clergy.

 Can we take pictures or hire a videographer?

Weddings are well worth preserving on film. However, it is very important that the photographer is not a disruptive and distracting presence during the worship service. Most professional photographers are sensitive to this, but to avoid misunderstandings and hard feelings, these guidelines should be followed and shared with your photographer prior to your wedding.
Professional photographers and videographers are welcome to call the Parish Administrator to set up a time to “scout out” Grace Church and determine where the best places are to set up their equipment. It is acceptable for them to take photos (without flash) when the bride is entering the church as long as they do so halfway down the aisle. Photographers may also take pictures as the bride and groom are exiting the church from that same spot. In-between the procession in and the procession out, they may take non-flash photos from the very back of the church or from the sacristy door. At no time may a photographer or videographer enter the chancel or sanctuary space to take a picture.
Photos of the wedding party and families may be taken in the church prior to or after the wedding, if desired. If photos are to be taken after the service, the wedding party should re-gather in the church right away. Please take any pictures you desire with the clergy during the first part of the shoot so they may attend to other matters. 

Can we decorate the church space?

Too many flowers and candles detract from the setting and make it appear cluttered. Two large candles on the altar or two 7-branch candelabras behind it may be used. Candelabras are usually reserved for late afternoon weddings and used in cases where the flower arrangements are not overly wide. As with candles, more flowers are not necessarily better. One, two, or three flower arrangements are appropriate. Large, free-standing vases are out of place. You or your florist will also need to arrange for a mutually convenient time for the delivery of the flowers to church.

What about music for the wedding?   

Music during the wedding should be appropriate to the nature of the event. Thus, music used during your wedding should be Christian, either implicitly or explicitly. Music for the ceremony must be decided upon in consultation with the clergy. Soloists and other instrumentalists must rehearse with the organist at a mutually agreed time before the day of the service and must provide their own music with a copy for the organist. The words of anthems (this includes solos) “are to be from the Holy Scripture, The Book of Common Prayer, or from texts congruent with them.” (BCP) Music that does not fit the nature of the ceremony is far better used at the wedding reception.

What do we need to know about the wedding rehearsal?

The wedding rehearsal is usually held the evening prior to the wedding day. You should allow one hour for the rehearsal to take place. If you are planning a rehearsal dinner, it is advisable to schedule the rehearsal at least an hour and fifteen minutes in advance. Please stress to all wedding participants the absolute necessity of being on time  The clergy will be present at the rehearsal and the wedding to assist in the smooth flow of the service and to ease anxieties that you may have!

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